Numerous sources in the Texas House GOP caucus report that a move is underway to cast aside the legislative priorities adopted by delegates to the Republican Party’s biennial convention last month in favor of a watered-down version that ignores several key reforms. Leading that charge is Frisco Republican Jared Patterson, who chairs the GOP caucus’ policy committee.

These sources say, Patterson—a key ally of embattled Speaker Dade Phelan—is trying to convene a meeting of the caucus policy committee as soon as Tuesday. The only item on the proposed agenda would be naming the “Texas Conservative Commitment” as the official statement of 2025 priorities for the House GOP caucus instead of the priorities established by the Republican Party.

Patterson’s office did not respond to a request for comment before publication.

Notably absent from the “Commitment” is a ban on the Phelan practice of allowing Democrats to chair committees in the chamber. Tellingly, a majority (26) of the 43 Republican House members signing on to the Texas Conservative Commitment have either taken positions in favor of keeping Democrats in leadership or been silent on the issue.

Their position is at odds with that of more than 80 percent of Republican voters, who supported a non-binding ballot question in the March primary calling for the practice to be ended. Delegates at the state GOP convention in San Antonio also included that item in the party’s list of legislative priorities.

Likewise, a majority of the Republicans for the 2025 legislative session issued a letter saying a ban on Democrat committee chairs will determine their vote for speaker. The letter was widely seen as a repudiation of Phelan, who has said he would continue the practice if re-elected.

The “Texas Conservative Commitment” has been widely panned by conservative lawmakers and GOP activists alike for not including a ban on Democrat chairs.

The “Commitment” also ignores other high-profile reforms embraced by delegates to the Texas GOP convention, such as ending the sexualization of children, imposing “e-verify” to thwart the employment of illegal aliens, and a series of election integrity items.

According to members with knowledge of the planned meeting, Patterson is rushing to hold it so the current policy committee will do the voting. Of the 16 current committee members, two were booted from office by voters in the GOP primary: Glenn Rogers and Ernest Bailes. A third committee member, Doc Anderson, did not seek re-election.

It is unknown how many of the 16 committee members will attend Patterson’s hastily-called meeting.

Republican caucus members have also asserted that Patterson knows he is unlikely to be asked to chair the policy committee for the 2025-2026 legislative biennium.

Lawmakers tell Texas Scorecard that Patterson, Phelan, and their diminishing number of allies intend—as one member put it—“to poke Republican voters in the eye” rather than accept the outcome of the primary elections. For them, keeping Democrats in key legislative positions is critical to appeasing the Austin lobby.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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